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SIM cards at the center of our digital life

Week 26, 2010

The SIM card has been in existence for more than 20 years, and its role is continuing to evolve with the changes in the industry. The SIM card remains the representation of the mobile operator in the hands of the mobile phone end-user, and as such, it benefits from the confidence subscribers put in the mobile operators.

Now, with increasing 3G penetration, the emergence of mobile tablets and other devices, and the advent of LTE, mobile devices are becoming more data access tools than voice transmission devices. Handsets (or other mobile devices) are at the core of our digital life. With the web 2.0 model, users are asking for more contents, regardless whether they come from the telecom operators or from other sources. The development of cloud computing brings less differentiation between what is on our own devices and what is on the network. These new concepts bring additional needs for security. Users want to make sure the application they download are not malicious, they want to be confident that their data somewhere on the cloud are safe, they want to make sure the purchases they make (online or via NFC) are secure, they want to make sure their identity on social networks is not compromised…

SIM cards are the answer to these needs. SIM cards allow to customize and secure mobile devices, they facilitate service provisioning, they allow users to steer roaming, thus alleviating network congestion, SIM cards are central to Location Based Services, and they are typically a secure identity support.

Our industry is demonstrating its ability to follow, and even to anticipate, the evolutions of the telecommunications market. A few years from now, the SIM card will still be here, but its role will be totally different from now.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights